Friday, October 2, 2009

Is Black America Ready For A Gay Rapper?!?

Few would argue that the Black community doesn't have some real hangups with homosexuality. It's preached about in pews each Sunday, alleged about every quasi celeb on gossip blogs, and tossed as the ultimate insult to dude's manhoods by haters worldwide. Simply put, you're nobody till someone's accused you of being gay.

Gospel singer Tonex has always been a favorite of mine, even as his increasingly eccentric getups threatened to overshadow his musical talent. Seriously, who can listen to "God Has Not Forgot" and not be moved on some level?

It sorta made up for such cringeworthy videos as this.

I mean, I understand pushing the boundaries of traditional gospel music and whatnot, but that sh*t's just extra. Come on' bruh.

The rumor mill for years has been than Tonex, even though he's been married, was gay. Again, it doesn't matter to me, cause I like his music either way. Recently though, he gave an interview where he essentially came all the way out the closet, and many folks in the gospel music community are none too pleased.
Never too far from controversy, gospel artist Tonex recently announced on Word Network’s “The Lexi Show” that he is attracted to men.

After many years of speculation over his sexuality, the 34-year-old pastor of Truth Apostolic Community Church in San Diego said he has found comfort in putting the rumors to rest.

In a video interview on the show, Tonex, whose real name is Anthony Williams, described himself as a “free spirit,” and said he is not struggling with homosexuality.

“I think that when someone understands who they are sexually and they understand who they are as a person, it’s really difficult to label that,” Tonex said. “Other times I’m like, hm, I do want kids and I do very much love women…but at the same time we have to be honest with ourselves as to what it is that we have an affinity for.”

Tonex has released 24 gospel albums in the past 15 years and produced hit records for gospel and secular artists, winning six Stellar Awards and a Grammy nomination in 2004. But he has also had his share of pain—he had a four year marriage that ended in divorce, mourned the death of his father in 2006, and announced a short-lived retirement later that year before returning to the industry in 2007.

In the candid interview, Tonex shared his opinion on the public’s view of his personal life.

“It’s important for people to not be so caught up in who I like to sleep with, as much as I’m practicing safe sex or I’m in a monogamist relationship, no matter what that will be,” he said.
Given the whole tie up with the Black church and homosexuality, it's little surprise that many folks are calling him all sorts of hypocrites and whatever whatever. And on some level, I find that sorta sad.

Yeah, I understand folks being tied up on what's said in Leviticus, but quoting scripture to condemn someone always strikes me as a wee bit hypocritical in and of itself. The bible also has quite a bit to say about merely having sex before marriage, period, same sex or not. The way I see it, the gay dude's just batting a sin double, instead of a bloop sin single. Sorry for all the non-baseball fans I just totally lost with that one.

If you ask me, so long as the guy makes good music, (which I should note, he hasn't of late) I couldn't care less what he's doing behind closed doors.

Chances are, much like the long-rumored gay rapper heyyyyy, Errrrick Serrrrrmon, I suspect Tonex's career is toast, and in many ways, that's also sorta sad. Pray for the brother.

Now, on a completely unrelated and completely self-contradictory note, this sh*t was just really, really, really suspect. No pause necessary.

Tyson Beckford, how you doin'?!?

Question: Is homophobia more of a problem in the black community than in others? Why? Will Tonex be able to maintain a career or will coming out the closet essentially spell curtains for whatever career he had left? Could a rapper come out the closet and still sell units? How is Tyson Beckford doin'?!?

Gospel Star Tonex Comes Out Of The Closet []

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